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5 Essential Areas For Successful Construction Quality Control Meetings

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By Ed Caldeira


Quality, scheduling, safety, administrative concerns and also, most importantly, how you can always keep your client happy. These are actually the primary considerations you need to have a pre-construction meeting. A well organized pre-construction meeting helps to make sure that your construction project progresses without problems. Additionally, it removes uncertainty and frustration whenever you are confronted with all the unavoidable situations that come up during the course of a construction project.

For this discussion, we'll focus on handling the QA/QC part of your preconstruction meeting. I'll give you a few general guidelines, and then discuss the key topic areas you should cover.

In case you are developing a quality control plan, you ought to reference how to utilize your pre-construction meetings as a part of your QA/QC measures.

In order to offer you a perspective, we cover a chapter on pre-construction meetings (also referred to as project startup meetings) in the Process Controls portion of our ISO 9001 Quality Management Plans. In our simpler Essentials Quality Control Plans we examine this subject in the Project Coordination and Communications section. Also, in our comprehensive Construction Quality Control Plans we have included some discussion in both the areas.

Overall QA/QC Pre-Construction Meeting Principles

Set an agenda

Provide everybody a copy of your agendain advance. Identifying the channels of interaction, the coordination of quality inspections, dealing with the nonconformances and the hierarchy of command - all these are aspects you need to cover in your agenda.

Although in many cases these topics can be handled as your project progresses, the pre-construction meeting is your chance to handle these important issues in a more formal, less haphazard and less painful way.

If perhaps your customer would like to conduct the meeting, both you and your customer need to discuss in advance to make certain that all your agenda points have been included.

Include the important players

Ensure to include all of the crucial QA/QC players such as the project owner, sub-contractors, representatives, and managers. Also, endeavor to carry out the meeting so that every one of the participants have a voice.

You can keep a flip chart and write down the ideas and comments being discussed. This will keep your meeting focused and let your participants know that their voices are being heard.

After the meeting, send the minutes (including your talking points) to each individual.

5 Essential Subject Areas to be Discussed

1. Identify QA/QC roles and responsibilities

An individual could be a quality manager in his organization, however that title can imply a different role for this particular project. You need to be certain every individual is actually clear on her or his function and the project quality responsibilities that go along with that position.

2. Establish troubleshooting measures

How will you handle problems? Issues will arise; they always do. Your preconstruction meeting is when you should clearly define the procedures you want followed for resolving them.

For example, in the case of nonconformances, what is the chain of command you want followed for bringing them into spec. In other words, once your superintendent or inspector finds a non conformance, who determines the disposition, who gets the go-ahead from the owner to proceed, etc...

3. Develop a schedule for regular project QA/QC meetings

Scheduling regular weekly or monthly meetings to discuss quality issues, status reports, or anything of an administrative nature is something you can discuss at your preconstruction meeting. You should set ground rules for these meetings, establish when and where they will be held, and who should attend.

4. Organize the prepatory meetings

Soon after you break up the project into different phases, set an agenda for conducting a prepatory meeting before each new phase commences. During these prepatory meetings, you will have to coordinate precisely how each participant would handle her or his function such as putting together "job-ready" specifications, conducting reviews of specifications and inspection and test results.

Your prepatory meetings are the time to emphasize possible quality problem areas. Let's say you're concerned with the flatness of a foundation. Treat these possible problem areas like a specification and perhaps even itemize them on an inspection checklist.

The prepatory meetings really are perfect forums for detecting and precluding any quality issues of concern. Therefore, make use of your pre-construction meeting to let everybody understand to commit time for the prepatory meetings during the course of the project.

5. Setting up quality expectations

Set up your quality philosophy and policies of the construction project. Perhaps your entire focus is actually on first-time quality. In such a case, you need to declare your expectation that job be accomplished right the very first time rather than rely on audits to identify issues.

The preconstruction meeting will be your chance to fortify a shared philosophy that everybody is part of a team completely focused on different quality functions in order to complete a successful construction project.

Conclusion

Establishing an agenda, aiding a conversation between all the significant players, and coordinating quality assurance and quality control assessments will make certain that your pre construction meeting establishes the course for a successful construction project.

Take the time to plan ahead and get all of your key quality personnel involved.




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